The homeowners of this one-story house thought they'd have to put on an addition that was beyond their budget to get the open kitchen and dining room they wanted. Instead, Worthington, Ohio, remodeler Ron Landis convinced them to incorporate their third bedroom and created the warm, farmhouse kitchen they wanted within the existing footprint of their house.
The owner of R.J. Landis Design & Construction says a previous contractor informed the clients they could build a 12-by-15-foot addition for $30,000. But they felt his sketch did not address all their concerns. Landis met with the owners and shared his approach to design. "You can do wonderful things if you add a big space onto your house, but many of those spaces are not designed well with the flow of the house," he explained.
Because the house was on a narrow lot, an addition would have cut into the yard. Landis asked the empty nester couple how they felt about giving up the third bedroom, adjacent to the kitchen, which they were currently using as a study.
"I don't normally tell people to remove a bedroom from a house. I asked them to evaluate the value of their house if they made it a two-bedroom," Landis says. Many other houses in the community were two bedrooms, and the homeowners believed a large kitchen would be more valuable than the inadequate existing galley kitchen, so they decided it was a wise decision to give up the third bedroom.
Landis drew up a plan that moved the kitchen into the original bedroom. The old kitchen space became an open dining room. He transformed the existing dining room into a study by adding a wall and French doors to create privacy and shield it from the adjacent living room. Landis designed two high transoms on the wall between the new kitchen/dining area. "The transom windows are up high, so you can't see through them, but they let light come in," Landis says.
The transoms have leaded glass that ties in with the leaded glass in the cabinets that flank the kitchen window.
andis replaced the sliding door to the back yard with a large window. To maintain access to the patio, he added a door on the back wall of the study. The new kitchen at the back of the house has a cozy feel and allows the homeowner to incorporate her antiques and collectibles. "The Shaker style cabinets and natural woods appealed to her," Landis says. The wood floor continues from the kitchen/dining area into the study.
The owner likes to bake and requested a low countertop on the island to knead bread. She wanted the island to resemble an old farm crate.
Landis and his team crafted the island using rough pine slats and inset marble on the low countertop. On the higher bar top, one of Landis' carpenters offered up some maple beams he had salvaged from a barn. They chose two pieces, milled them to 17 inches wide, and laminated them together to form the upper ledge of the island.